Last summer I wrote and received a grant for my kids’ co-op preschool to fund a new program promoting the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The program is called “Try It Day”. Once a week, another parent or I bring in samples of a given fruit or vegetable. The kids all get a chance to try it before snack time. If they try it, or even just lick it, they get a sticker on their chart. I also prepare a one-page handout for all the parents about the fruit or vegetable of that week. I usually include recipes, food facts, and some ideas for activities. So far we’ve done cauliflower, melon, zucchini, and squash. At some point I’m going to post these handouts on the site for those who might be interested.
While researching information for the squash handout I came across an interesting recipe for peanut butter squash ‘brownies’. You can imagine my excitement when I realized these were primal-friendly, grain free, refined sugar free brownies! At first glance, the short ingredient list seemed really strange. There are only 5 ingredients in these flourless brownies and I couldn’t imagine what kind of texture would result. Of course, I had to make them immediately.
These brownies are amazing! The texture is like a wonderfully moist cake or brownie and most of the sweetness comes from the squash. I can’t say this about all my primal treats, but in this case you can feel confident serving these to friends, family, coworkers and children without looking like you’re trying to impose some crazy health-food agenda.
Compared to the original recipe I found, I increased the squash, decreased the honey, and used raw almond butter instead of peanut butter. I used 1/3 cup honey for the whole batch which comes out to just over ½ tablespoon of honey per brownie. However, you could probably get away without adding any honey and maybe just mixing in some coconut, dates, or raisins.
Feel free to get creative with substitutions. Try other nut butters, other forms of squash, other sweeteners, spices, mix-ins, the possibilities are endless. I made several batches using either fresh squash that I steamed and mashed or canned pumpkin. I preferred the fresh squash to the canned pumpkin, but the latter worked perfectly well and seemed appropriate for the upcoming holiday.
Consider topping with applesauce and/or whipped cream for a delicious dessert.
1 cup almond butter
¾ cup mashed pumpkin or other squash, canned or steamed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serves 8.